Archive for the Wine & Food Category

Wining About January

Posted in Wine & Food on January 16, 2021 by darmyers

Does anyone else feel like this is the 76th of January? I don’t usually start my blog with something on the negative side, but I have to say, I’m feeling some of the January blahs. It feels like weeks since I took my Christmas decorations down and in reality, I only took them down the 3rd of January. It’s the 16th of January and honestly, it feels like the 76th of January. And this is a little strange for me. I don’t normally mind January, especially when the weather has been as mild as it has been. May I have to stop watching so much news about the Looney Tunes down South, and his Vice Poodle, and doing more things that make me smile. Exercise, reading, puzzles and cooking! Here’s the book I’m reading now, and it is excellent.

I love Harlan Coben

Excellent, can’t put it down, I can clean that tomorrow kind of book! I also just finished this puzzle that I got for Christmas.

And my friend Sharon gave me this awesome meat thermometer as a Christmas gift

I’ve needed one so bad

One of the things I’m doing to help blast away the January blahs is walk with my friend Beth, and eat better. Remember the chicken skewer recipe I told you about last week, one of my new favorite all time recipes. Well it goes with salad too.

The salad dressing is made right here in Halifax. It’s one of only salad dressing I don’t make myself. This is made by an awesome group of kids here in Halifax called ‘Hope Blooms’. If that name seems familier, you may have seen them on the Dragon’s Den.

Hope Blooms Lemon Smoked Caesar

The Hope Blooms Lemon Smoked Caesar is one of my favorites, and they also carry a Maple Balsamic, a Basil Pesto and many more. This is an amazing organization and you can check them out at www.hopeblooms.ca

I have a couple of friends that do Dry January every year, and my friend Anthony posted the other day saying ‘If you think you’re January seems long, try doing Dry January’. So, there’s that. Let’s talk some wine.

January is all about trying something new. And why not extend that to your wine palate. One of the things we do really well in Canada – Ice! Why not try an ice wine. Canada produces some of the finest Ice wines in the world, because if anyone can produce a frozen grape, it’s us here in Canada. As a matter of fact, Peller Estates, who have been producing wine here in Canada for 50 years, has an ice wine tasting room.

How cool is that

Peller Estates makes a beautiful Ice wine from the Vidal grape, and guess who else has the cooler weather to grow the Vidal grape and make a great Ice wine? You guessed it, Nova Scotia.

Grand Pre Vidal Icewine

This is the Grand Pre Vidal Ice Wine from right here in Nova Scotia, and it’s a gorgeous dessert wine, with the excellent price tag of $24.99 Most of them start at about $50 a bottle. Ice Wines are beautiful after you’ve had a big meal, you would like something sweet, but don’t want a heavy dessert. They are served ice ice cold, and in a small sipping glass. It is a delicious satisfying way to end a great meal.

Looking forward to wine tastings again

And now for my wine of the week.

I’ve been craving a steak. It’s not something I have often, so when I do, I really really enjoy it. So, I’m seeing one in my future. Because I don’t have steak that often, I do tend to treat myself to a nice cut of meat. Here’s the wine I think I will go and buy to have with it. I love Kenwood Estates. They make a fantastic Zinfandel, and they don’t disappoint with this Cabernet Sauvignon. The Sonoma County, which stretches from the Pacific Coast to the Mayacamas Mountains, plays a huge role in the terroir and the unique taste of this wine. Full-bodied and firm, this beautiful wine has gorgeous rich flavors of black currant and fig. Please excuse the wine stain on the picture, I spilled a little and then took the picture.

That’s it for this week. Let’s take a moment to wish Betty White a Happy 99th Birthday. You Go Girl!

Till next week, Cheers

Wine Trends for 2021

Posted in Wine & Food on January 9, 2021 by darmyers
2020 was an interesting year

For many many people, 2020 was a challenging year, me included. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. I re-discovered my love of cooking, new recipes and new wines. I also read some great books, rediscovered a love of jigsaw puzzles and appreciated every minute I got to spend with family and friends in my bubble. But there is hope, with the introduction of 2 vaccines and more on the way, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. While we are in the tunnel, it’s a great opportunity to catch up on some reading, including some things to watch out for in the wine world for 2021. The first of the year, I tend to do a wine blog on the upcoming wine trends. Here we go!

  1. Rose Wine continues to be hotter than ever.
Mionetto Rose Prosecco

Last year I read that you will see a Rose Prosecco in 2020, however Covid slowed that down. But Food and Wine magazine says it’s coming in 2021. I have had Mionetto Prosecco several times, it’s a great sparkling wine to take to wine tastings. Mionetto has produced a DOC certified Rose Prosecco, unfortunately, it’s not available here yet. Once it is, you have my word, I will buy a bottle and try it. Rose wine sales increased 43% in the Summer of 2020 over the previous Summer. 43%! Wow. Keep in mind, more people were staying close to home this past Summer worldwide, drinking on their patios, and from the looks of it, many were enjoying Rosé wine.

2. Online Sales of wine will continue

More and more people started buying wine online in 2020. This statement probably comes as no surprise to anyone. Most people I know started buying online for the first time, thanks to the lockdown provided by a global pandemic. Bloomberg says we are going to see this trend continue, people liked the convenience and the delivery. Wine stores, who started doing deliveries in 2020, will probably need to continue with that trend.

How I ended 2020 and started 2021

3. Hard Seltzers will continue to gain popularity

East Coast Lifestyle Rum Soda
White Claw Mango Seltzer

Many local brewers from Nova Scotia and around the world are producing these sparkling water based drinks. Sparkling water with a boost of alcohol, and many food and wine magazines are calling them hard seltzers. Many wine lovers are not huge fans from the reviews I’ve read, but I really like them. They are refreshing and tasty and they are perfect for Summer. The top picture is the East Coast Lifestyle Rum Soda from right here in Nova Scotia, and the bottom is the White Claw mango hard seltzer from the U.S.. I have a palate that likes many different kinds of drinks, and I love these drinks, especially the low sugar ones.

Before I tell you about my wine of the week, I have to share my new favorite recipe. I love a show on television called Watt’s On The Grill, featuring Chef Spencer Watts. It’s filmed right here in Canada. He also has a show ‘Watt’s Cooking At The Cottage’. On one episode he made these chicken skewers. Oh. My. God. They are so good, and easy.

First I cut up the chicken breasts and marinated it for 8 hours. Over night works well, even 3 or 4 hours. You really should marinate.

Brown Sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, & Worcestershire sauce.

5 easy ingredients for the marinade. Then I grilled them on my BBQ. About 3 – 4 minutes per side for me.

Set some marinade aside to baste with

I set aside about 1/4 of the marinade to baste while they cooking. Flip, baste and repeat. Then he recommended this sweet thai chili mayo sauce that I have made twice and have even used this mayo on a sandwich and it’s heavenly.

1st night I basted with the mayo sauce
It’s also great on pork

The mayo sauce has equal parts Mayo & Sweet Thai Chili sauce, garlic, and cilantro. He calls for fish sauce, but I’m allergic so I used Hoisin sauce, which is like molasses meeting soy sauce. You can use any green fresh herb you like, I happen to have cilantro, because I make my own salsa. It’s awesome. His recipe is here.

And now for my wine of the week..

Silvia Cellars Three Barrels blend

I’m going to start this description by telling you that this wine is $7 off right now at the NSLC on my street. It’s a great wine for $23, it’s spectacular for $16, which is what I paid for this wine yesterday. Sylvia three barrel blend is a blended wine of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel. Beautiful and full-bodied.

I have the 2011 vintage last night, and I will give this tip. Either let it sit, or decant it. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah , and Zinfandel tend to be higher alcohol wines all on their own, around 14%. This wine has been sitting in its bottle for almost 10 years, so the first thing you may taste if you open and try it right away, like I did, would be alcohol. Once I decanted it, it was amazing. Full-bodied with flavors of toasted oak and candied orange peel’s, I’m going up today to buy another one or two!

Priorities

Have a wonderful week. Thank you for reading

Darlene

Twas The Wine Before Christmas

Posted in Wine & Food on December 12, 2020 by darmyers
Christmas chuckle

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the cellar,

The bottles were resting, the tannins becoming mellower

The wine glasses were hung by the fireplace with care

In hopes Santa & a corkscrew, would soon be there

The bottles were nestled snug in the rack,

Waiting for a guy holding a red sack

Papa with his white, me with my red,

Enjoying a glass before we headed to bed

When out on the lawn, arose such a clatter

I spilled my wine, to see what was the matter

I ran to the window, I flew like a flash

In time to see Santa in quite the mad dash

The Moon on the face of a newly poured wine Gave the luster of Merlot a beautiful shine

Gave the luster of Merlot a beautiful shine

When what to my eyes, should suddenly appear

But a miniature sleight and 8 reindeer

With a Jolly driver, so lively and quick

I knew in a moment, it must be Saint Nick

I ran to get a glass, so happy he came

When one by one, he called them by name.

Now Dancer, Now Dasher, Now Prancer and Vixen

On Comet, On Cupid, On Donner, On Blitzen

Out to the porch, I gave him a call

Red or white I called out, you can have it all

I’ll be happy

It looked as if this wasn’t his first stop of the night,

His purple stain teeth proved I was right

He came in and headed directly to the glass,

And asked if I had anything from Alsace

He filled all the stockings, and turned with a jerk,

He gave a big smile and returned back to work

And I heard him explain as he drove out of sight

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night

A little bit of fun with a classic. And now it’s time for my Wine of the Week…

Bouchard Aine & Fils Beaujolais Superiore

Last week I told you about an easy to drink great-priced Pinot Noir from Bouchard, Aine & Fils. This week, I had the opportunity to try its sister wine, the Beaujolais Superiore. My small bubble of 3 other friends get together Tuesday evenings for a games night. Because my friend Angie & I both drink red, so we take turns bringing the wine. This is the wine Angie bought this week, and it’s so funny, because I have a friend Nancy who gave me a bottle as well, that’s still in my wine rack.

This is a great wine for Christmas, because it’s so food friendly. This wine pairs well with charcuterie boards, cheese, cold cuts, fish dishes like salmon and chicken and turkey as well. Bouchard Aine & Fils have been part of the wine trade in Burgundy and Beaujolais for over 200 years, so you know they make a good Beaujolais. Beaujolais is a medium-bodied easy to drink wine with notes of cherry and candied bananas. The Superiore means the grapes were picked at the height of ripeness, thus making it ‘superior’. This wine is also an amazing deal. Are you sitting down? It’s $16.99 a bottle here in Nova Scotia. A reminder this is not a wine that is meant to be aged. Drink it within 2 years for best results.

A friend of mine Sandra, has a kitty cat, Bidou, who will only drink his water out of a wine glass. I have the proof on video, and was hoping to share it. However, the file size was too big, the blog wouldn’t accept it. It is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

That’s it for me for this week, till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Wine – Gift Giving Made Easy!

Posted in Wine & Food on December 5, 2020 by darmyers
I’m easy to shop for

I’ve always said, I’m the easiest person in the world to shop for. Head to the closest place that sells wine, and you’re my new best friend. Don’t think for a minute that wine lovers look at a gift of wine wine as an ‘easy’ gift. For me, it’s a great gift, of which I am very appreciative. And when I’m enjoying that particular wine, I always think fond memories of the person who gave it to me. 2020 has been has been stressful enough. So I’m going to give you some great gift-giving ideas for the wine lover in your life.

When I became a Certified Sommelier in April of 2017, I started doing a lot of wine tastings. I did them for small and larger groups, and I always bought a sparkling wine. Did you know there are still so many people that believe sparkling wines are sweet. This Mionetto Prosecco was a crowd favorite.

Mionetto Prosecco

It is such a great time to buy Prosecco right now. I was at the NSLC the other day (surprise surprise!) and so many are on sale, including this one from Mionetto. Prosecco makes a great gift because even if you don’t feel like drinking a sparkling wine, there are so many cocktails you can make with Prosecco. Mionetto has been making Prosecco since 1887, when Francesco Mionetto opened a winery just north of Venice, Italy. It’s a great wine, a great gift, and it’s under $18 right now.

Another great wine for the white wine lover on your list.

Gianmaria Cesari

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of meeting Italian winemaker Gianmaria Cesari, the son of Umberto Cesari, when he spoke in Halifax a couple of years ago. He introduced me to one of my favorite white wines and I have been bringing it to wine tastings ever since.

Moma White

Moma white is made from the Trebbiano grape, with Sauvignon Blanc and some Chardonnay, and comes from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, known more for Balsamic Vinegar and Parmesan cheese. This winery is also making some spectacular wine. This delicious elegant white wine features flavors of apple and pear, and is priced under $18. A perfect party pleaser.

Here’s a fun side dish for any holiday entertaining you are thinking of doing.

Roasted Garlic Butter Parmesan Potatoes

So I posted this recipe on my Facebook page, saying I was going to make the potatoes last Sunday. The potatoes I had in my pantry had gone a little wonky, so I decided not to make them. I had almost 100 people reach out to see how they turned out. So I made them mid-week. I did mine on the BBQ, but you know you can use your BBQ like a hot oven as well.

My finished version

I have to say, they turned out pretty darn good. One difference, the recipe calls for 6 cloves of garlic, I used 3 cloves of fresh garlic, and they were lots garlicky! You may want to be careful with this recipe if you’re planning a passionate evening, unless both of you are eating the potatoes. You can get the recipe for the Roasted Garlic Parmesan Potatoes here.

Melted butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt & Pepper

I parboiled them at first and then coated them in this marinade of goodness. Cooked them, and in the final minutes melted more butter, added chopped up bacon, and more parmesan. A delicious and different side dish. God I love potatoes, they are so versatile and you can have them so many different way. Let’s get back to the wine. I’m so excited to tell you about the new wine I tried this week.

My Wine of the Week….

Pinot Noir Perfect

You know me, I love Pinot Noir, it’s probably my favorite grape. And I love finding great wines at great prices. This one hit the jackpot. The Bouchard Aine & Fils might be a mouthful to say, but its also a mouthful of flavor. It’s a French Pinot Noir from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, which is known more for GSM’s, Grenache Syrah & Mourvedre wines, but this Pinot Noir is delightful.

Bouchard, Aine & Fils Pinot Noir

It’s a great light to medium-bodied easy to drink wine. This is a great wine for white wine drinkers, who want to dip their toe in the red wine world. And it’s so affordable right now. It’s on sale here in Nova Scoita for $13.99, which makes it an unbelievable value. This wine is also a perfect pairing for food this holiday season. From appetizer snacks like cheese, fruit and crackers, to your main meal of ham, chicken or fish. At this price, don’t walk to the liquor store, run!

A trip to Bordeaux, France

I want to invite all of you to join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, December 9th. You’ll learn about River cruising and the trip to Bordeaux in 2022. We all need something to look forward to after this year. We’re going to have a sip of wine (of course), talk about a wonderful trip, and did I mention it’s free. You can sign up here.

A big welcome to all the new followers this week of this blog. Welcome to the wine journey.

Darlene

New to Wine (Part 2)

Posted in Wine & Food on November 21, 2020 by darmyers
Lots to choose from

There was such an overwhelming response to my wine blog last week, New to Wine, Maybe I can Help, that I decided to expand on that. One of the things I always try to do with my wine blog and with my wine tastings, is take the intimidation out of buying and trying wine. Most people who read this blog already like wine on some level, but if you know someone wanting to dip their toe into the wine world, pass along this blog. If you are just getting started, here are a few wines to start your wine journey. And for those readers who love wine already, if you haven’t already tried these 5 wines, you should give them a try.

Bolla Prosecco – $17.99
  1. Prosecco

Prosecco has done such an amazing job of winning the Sparkling wine world over. It’s a beautiful crisp dry sparkling wine (not sweet) that is not expensive. It is delicious all on it’s own, perfect with appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, or you can turn it into a holiday cocktail.

Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail

Check out this Cranberry Pomegranate holiday cocktail, you can get the recipe here.

The remaining 4 wines that critics and wine lovers feel you should try, are 2. Chardonnay

3. Pinot Grigio

4. Pinot Noir and

5. Cabernet Sauvignon.

Personally I recommend you try something lighter than a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz, if you are just starting out in the wine world. Here’s the wine I always get people to try when they want to try red wine, or are white wine drinkers but would like to try red, or even new to wine. I present ‘Beaujolais’.

Beaujolais

It’s not only fun to say, it’s fun to drink. On the 3rd Thursday in November, considered World Beaujolais Day, the year’s wine crop is released to the world. Beaujolais is consumed as new and fresh as possible to keep those candied fruit flavors. There are 5 regions of Burgundy (Bourgogne) and Beaujolais is the southern most tip. It also produces more wine than all the other 4 regions combined. Wine expert Karen McNeil says Beaujolais is ‘the only white wine that is red in color’. You also serve this wine very chilled, and it goes great with salads, picnics and appetizers. The Bel Air Beaujolais I have here is one I haven’t tried yet, but bought it yesterday and I’m looking forward to it. Beaujolais is not expensive and tends to be under $20 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week…

But first, I have to tell you about my new BBQ.. yes the knobs light up for BBQing in the evenings when its dark (Yay!)

I love the fact the knobs light up
It has a rotisserie
Had both the BBQ & the Traeger Grill going

And yes, that is a glass of red wine between the two. You can’t be barbecuing and grilling without a beverage to keep you company.

And what was in that glass?

It’s on sale right now

Whenever I see this wine on sale, I absolutely have to have one. And its on sale this week! Meomi Pinot Noir is one of the richest Pinot Noir wines I have ever tried, and it’s complex flavors of mocha and cherries from winemaker Jason Becker gives it this week’s wine of the week. If you don’t think Pinot Noir can stand up to big grilled meats, you have not tried Meomi. The grapes come from 3 regions, Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara, and you’ll be bringing all the classic and dramatical flavors from the California coast, without the price tag that usually accompanies that.

This is why I’m single

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Have a great week, and thanks for reading.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene